2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Kaepernick strives to get 49ers back to Super Bowl

By JANIE McCAULEY - AP Sports Writer
    2013-07-25 17:15

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Colin Kaepernick's every move is scrutinized now that he has reached rock-star status as a third-year quarterback with the NFL's top-selling jersey.

He showed up for Day 1 of training camp Thursday sporting a black beanie hat and large red headphones hanging from his neck, insisting he is unaffected by it all. No Dolphins gear to be seen.

The hype isn't going away anytime soon.

``There's just more opportunities to do things. For the most part for me, I'm worried about playing football,'' Kaepernick said ahead of the team's first full-squad practice. ``I'm worried about making sure I'm ready to go on the field and perform.''

In six short months since losing in the waning moments of the Super Bowl, Kaepernick has, among other things, appeared unclothed on the cover of ESPN The Magazine's ``The Body Issue.'' And Kaep caused quite a stir by wearing a Miami cap.

He fully expects plenty of grief from teammates as begins his first training camp as the guy under center.

``I haven't had anything real bad yet, so I feel like they're plotting on me right now,'' Kaepernick said with a smile.

The 25-year-old Kaepernick has been fueled by coming so close to the franchise's sixth Super Bowl championship in February, a 34-31 loss to Baltimore. The Niners missed three chances from the 5-yard line, yet Kaepernick is quick to point to a mistake-filled first half.

Coach Jim Harbaugh's forward-focused message has been clear: ``If you're still talking about what you did yesterday, you haven't done much today.''

Kaepernick is determined to be that much better in his first full season as starter for the two-time NFC West champions, who expect a big challenge in the division from Seattle and St. Louis. The 49ers are ready for Kaepernick to lead them back to the big stage.

``Kaep is a diverse guy. And the coaches love him. The players love him. It's unique in that way, maybe for a quarterback, you don't always see that. I see that with Kaep,'' said Harbaugh, a former NFL quarterback himself. ``He's universally respected in that locker room and loved by his teammates. And guess I see that from the 25-to-35 demographic, too, that are buying jerseys. So people relate to him. They like his company, they like being around him.''

Kaepernick backed up Harbaugh's switch to him from now-Chiefs QB Alex Smith last November by taking the 49ers to the Super Bowl for the first time in 18 years, showing his dynamic ability and versatility immediately.

A 2011 second-round pick out of Nevada, the speedy, strong-armed Kaepernick was 7-3 as a starter last season with 1,814 yards passing, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. He rushed for a record 181 yards with a 56-yard touchdown in the divisional playoffs against Green Bay, longest in franchise history by a quarterback.

Kaepernick's tireless work ethic and talent earned him the trust of his teammates, many of whom are already approaching him as their leader.

``When we're here doing our minicamp stuff, he's here at 6, 7 in the morning running 200s for seemingly no reason,'' wideout Kyle Williams said. ``He knows how to prepare himself. Guys respect that. And he wins, and he plays well, so obviously guys are going to be in his corner. He's not one of those guys who's gotten success and wants to relax. He wants to go harder.''

Defensive tackle Justin Smith is eager to watch Kaepernick make further strides - and said the defense will do its part.

``He got the opportunity last year, went out there and ran with it,'' Smith said. ``Now he's one of the top quarterbacks in the league. He seized the moment and it seems he's still doing that, working his tail off, leading by example and showing other young guys how to do it. It's pretty cool to watch it from the beginning. It's good to have a dynamic threat like Kaepernick on your side as opposed to chasing after him all the time.''

Notes: S Donte Whitner said he spoke with Harbaugh on Wednesday and the coach told him he hopes a new contract gets done. ... The 49ers activated LB Darius Fleming and Williams from the active/physically unable to perform list. ... WR Michael Crabtree, recovering from surgery on his torn right Achilles tendon, was placed on the active/PUP list. DT Lamar Divens was placed on the active non-football injury list.''... Smith said he is ready to return at full strength after undergoing surgery on his partially torn left triceps after the Super Bowl. ``It's here now, 100 percent,'' he said.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Richard RodgersJul 1 05:03p

Green Bay Packers TE Richard Rodgers could see more playing time in 2015, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Rodgers played 528 snaps, while fellow TE Andrew Quarless played [ More ]

Rob HouslerJun 30 03:13p

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge, Rob Housler and Jim Dray could all end up taking over for TE Jordan Cameron, who is now with the Miami Dolphins. Head coach [ More ]

Sam BradfordJun 29 05:22p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) is expected to be in the final phase of his rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament once training camp begins. Bradford's second [ More ]

Charles JohnsonJun 29 02:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Charles X. Johnson appears to have everything it takes to produce in the NFL, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. 'He's got great work ethic, and [ More ]

C.J. SpillerJun 28 09:02p

New Orleans Saints RB C.J. Spiller has a perfect skill-set for head coach Sean Payton's system, which relies on getting the ball to players in space, according Chris Wesseling [ More ]

Tony MoeakiJun 25 07:12p

Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Moeaki will compete with TE Jacob Tamme for the Falcons' starting tight end job during training camp. QB Matt Ryan praised both tight ends for [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJun 25 03:52p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's reported weight gain this offseason is being overblown, according to general manager Dave Gettleman. Gettleman expects Benjamin to be ready to go for training [ More ]

Antoine CasonJun 25 03:03a

Free-agent CB Antoine Cason (foot) will miss the 2015 season due to surgery he underwent on Tuesday, June 23. Cason (Ravens) did not specify what type of surgery he [ More ]

Marvin JonesJun 24 09:13p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Marvin Jones (ankle, foot) did not play in 2014 due to multiple foot and ankle issues, but he is healthy and was impressive in organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp.

Keith WenningJun 24 02:43p

Free-agent QB Keith Wenning (Ravens) signed with the Cincinnati Bengals Wednesday, June 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Pierre GarconJun 24 02:23p

Washington Redskins WR Pierre Garcon could be featured more often in the passing game this season based on the offseason workouts. Garcon often lined up to the right of [ More ]

Martavis BryantJun 24 01:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers WRs Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant are expected to compete for the No. 2 wide receiver job during training camp. Both players performed well during offseason workouts.

Peyton ManningJun 24 11:53a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning was the subject of preliminary trade discussions with the Houston Texans, according to a source. The talks occurred before Manning restructured his deal and [ More ]

Rueben RandleJun 24 10:53a

New York Giants WR Rueben Randle was the best receiver on the field by a wide margin during spring practices, in the opinion of beat writer Jordan Ranaan. Randle [ More ]

Chris IvoryJun 24 10:43a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is listed as the starting running back entering training camp, according to beat writer Rich Cimini's unofficial depth chart. RB Bilal Powell is [ More ]

Devonta FreemanJun 23 10:22a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman enters training camp ahead of RB Tevin Coleman on the depth chart.

Joseph RandleJun 23 10:02a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle appears to be the clear leader at running back, and it's his job to lose in training camp.

Ahmad BradshawJun 22 11:32p

Free-agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw (Colts) has been suspended one game for violation of the league's substance abuse policy. If he signs with a team he must sit out for the first week.

Terrelle PryorJun 22 04:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Terrelle Pryor was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns Monday, June 22, according to a source.

Fred DavisJun 19 06:02p

New England Patriots TE Fred Davis was released Friday, June 19.

Dennis PittaJun 19 02:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) was not medically cleared to practice in minicamp as he continues to recover from his second dislocated and fractured hip in as many [ More ]

Isaiah CrowellJun 19 01:22p

Cleveland Browns RB Isaiah Crowell could be the workhorse back if his ball security improves, according to offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

Devonta FreemanJun 19 01:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman will be used in a lot of different ways, including as a receiver, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'I knew Devonta had terrific [ More ]

Chris OgbonnayaJun 19 11:32a

Free-agent RB Chris Ogbonnaya (Giants) announced his retirement Friday, June 19.

John MoffittJun 18 11:02p

Free-agent OG John Moffitt unretired Wednesday, June 17, and cleared waivers Thursday, June 18. He is free to sign with a team of his choosing. The Philadelphia Eagles, Miami [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 09:32p

Free-agent QB Terrelle Pryor is going to give it a shot at playing wide receiver in the NFL. Some teams have already expressed an interest.

Allen RobinsonJun 18 09:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson was described as 'unbelievable' by QB Blake Bortles Thursday, June 18. 'He's definitely a threat now in the red zone. ... He's physical. He [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 05:32p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Terrelle Pryor was waived Thursday, June 18.

Taylor ThompsonJun 18 05:32p

Tennesse Titans TE Taylor Thompson was waived Thursday, June 18.

Matthew MulliganJun 18 04:32p

Free-agent TE Matthew Mulligan (Titans) signed an undisclosed contract with the Buffalo Bills Thursday, June 18.

Carlton MitchellJun 18 04:22p

Free-agent WR Carlton Mitchell (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed contract with the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, June 18. WR Shane Wynn was waived.

Daniel ThomasJun 18 04:12p

Free-agent RB Daniel Thomas (Dolphins) signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears Thursday, June 18. Financial terms were not disclosed.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group